A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, William Rucks IV has made a tremendous effort to ensure that the prominence of the management department, its students, and the E. J. Ourso College of Business as a whole continue to increase.
In 1996, Rucks and his wife, Catherine, made a gracious donation to the E. J. Ourso College of Business' management department, which was shortly thereafter renamed the William W. & Catherine M. Rucks Department of Management in their honor. Two years later, the Rucks Fellow distinction was established whereby full-time, qualified management majors designated as such are rewarded with opportunities not afforded to other students. To qualify for the Rucks Fellow distinction, an applicant must be a full-time student majoring in management, must rank among the top 10 management majors by cumulative grade point average, and must participate in Rucks Fellows activities such as awards and recognition ceremonies.
The Rucks' contributions have aided in the Rucks Department of Management being recognized for its outstanding research-driven faculty, student-affiliated organizations, and outstanding alumni. They have established the William W. Rucks IV Endowed Chair and Professor of Management, the Catherine M. Rucks Professor of Management, and the William W. and Catherine M. Rucks Professor of Management.
A private investor and venture capital lender, Rucks received his Bachelor's of Science from LSU in 1979 and began his career with Union Oil Company of California. He was a co-founder of Flores and Rucks Inc., an independent energy company engaged in the exploration, development, production, and acquisition of crude oil and natural gas, but elected to retire in 1996 to reenter the world of private business. Rucks has served on the LSU System Board of Supervisors and has been inducted into the LSU Alumni Hall of Distinction and the E. J. Ourso College of Business Hall of Distinction.
Rucks and his wife, Catherine, have two children, Will and Lane. Will is a graduate of the E. J. Ourso College and earned his degree in management. Lane is currently a student in the University's College of Agriculture.